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LifeNet Bird Survey 2012

August 13, 2012

     July 15th brought our first large group of visitors to the reserve with the arrival of Dr. Dusti Becker and the LifeNet volunteers for the Las Tangaras, Ecuador Cloud Forest Bird Surveys. For the next two weeks we assisted the LifeNet team with multiple bird surveys that consisted of mist netting in low cloud forest, edge netting in Yanez Pasture and second growth forest. Volunteers were trained in the construction of mist nets, safe removal of birds from the nets, and the proper techniques for data collection and entry.

     Our mornings were spent manning the nets, after which we were always rewarded with a hearty and delicious almuerzo (lunch) by our talented chefs Jessica and Alicia. Following lunch came siesta, always a favorite, where some chose to nap, swim or simply lay in the hammock and read a book. Afternoons varied with data entry, hiking the lovely trails of Las Tangaras and collecting data on the infamous Andean Cock of the Rock. In the evenings we were treated to another hot meal and occasionally surprised with a delicious homemade dessert. We were constantly amazed with the women´s ability to create such flavorful and diverse dishes in the rustic cabin, with no electricity or refrigeration.

     The other half of LifeNet´s Ecuadorian staff is comprised of Mauricio and Pascual. These men proved themselves invaluable to the team on a daily basis. Pascual assisted Dusti with the bird banding, and showed great patience while explaining fieldwork techniques to the volunteers.  We dubbed Mauricio ¨El Professional¨ due to his ability to safely remove even the most tangled of birds and bats from the nets. We extend our utmost gratitude to these couples for all of the insightful advice they shared that has helped us to live more comfortably on the reserve.

     Too much happened in those two weeks to record with words, but some of the more memorable moments were captured on camera…



Pascual making friends with an Andean Cock-of-the-Rock


Olivaceous Piha, a new bird for the las Tangaras list!



Mauricio after working his magic with a Rufous-throated Tanager.


LifeNet Volunteers, Genavieve, Margaret, and Larry

    We would like to thank Dusti, the LifeNet team and the volunteers for the opportunity to assist in the fieldwork. It was a great learning experience for the both of us, and we´re happy to have met and shared memories with so many wonderful people.


Lifenet, las Tangaras Team 2012

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